Inside My Kindle: 100 Books For PMs, UX, Entrepreneurs, Systems Thinkers, Design Thinkers, and Other Crazies (Like Me)

John Cutler
Dec 7, 2015 · 6 min read

I’m a product development nut. And I’m a book junkie. I love this stuff. I recently moved to Raleigh, NC (from always blissful Santa Barbara, CA) to work at Pendo.io, a startup focused on helping product managers build awesome products. You can find me on Twitter at @johncutlefish.

It occurred to me today that my Kindle collection was starting to get pretty large. Poking around Amazon I realized that you can actually get a list of all your purchased books. It isn’t a perfect list (the titles are cut off), but it gives you enough information to find the book. The kicker was getting an email from a friend asking for some book recommendations. So I decided to share the current state of the book list with her (and you).

This covers the topics that interest me: leadership, UX, startups, cognitive bias, product management, Agile, management, complexity theory, marketing, design thinking, system thinking, data, analytics, hypothesis-driven development, product development, self-improvement, communication, organization design, lean, kanban, collaboration, and generally figuring out ways groups of people can continuously improve and build useful stuff.

I’ve read each of these books. I’m a big believer that there is never a magic bullet. None of these books presents the definitive “way”. Where there is a “why” (and inspiration, and rigor, and an open mind), there are a host of tools that can help get you there. Choose wisely.

Books

  • #Workout: Games, Tools & Practices to Engage People, Improve..
    Jurgen Appelo
  • 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People (Voices..
    Susan Weinschenk
  • Agile Business: A Leader’s Guide to Harnessing Complexity
    Bob Gower
  • Agile Experience Design: A Digital Designer’s Guide to..
    Lindsay Ratcliffe
  • Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that..
    Roman Pichler
  • All Edge: Inside the New Workplace Networks
    Clay Spinuzzi
  • Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder (Incerto)
    Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management (Pragmatic..
    Johanna Rothman
  • Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error
    Kathryn Schulz
  • Blinkracy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Make Any Company..
    Sebastian Klein
  • Bootstrapping Using Services: Entrepreneur Journeys
    Sramana Mitra
  • Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy
    Martin Lindstrom
  • Conversion Optimization: The Art and Science of Converting..
    Khalid Saleh
  • Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are..
    Kerry Patterson
  • Data Driven Design: How Today’s Product Designer Approaches..
    Phillip A. Harris
  • Designing the Conversation: Techniques for Successful..
    Russ Unger
  • Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful..
    Bill Aulet
  • Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup
    Brad Feld
  • Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web..
    Steve Krug
  • Drift into Failure: From Hunting Broken Components to..
    Sidney Dekker
  • Ending the Management Illusion: How to Drive Business..
    Hersh Shefrin
  • Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten..
    Salim Ismail
  • Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days
    Jessica Livingston
  • Getting Results the Agile Way: A Personal Results System for..
    J.D. Meier
  • Getting to Yes with Yourself: (and Other Worthy Opponents)
    William Ury
  • Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes..
    S.J. Scott
  • Holacracy: The New Management System for a Rapidly Changing.. Brian Robertson
  • How Google Works
    Eric Schmidt
  • How To Be The Luckiest Person Alive!
    James Altucher
  • How to Change the World: Change Management 3.0
    Jurgen Appelo
  • How to Make Sense of Any Mess: Information Architecture for..
    Abby Covert
  • Impact Mapping: Making a big impact with software products..
    Gojko Adzic
  • Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash..
    Mary Poppendieck
  • Influence (Collins Business Essentials)
    Cialdini PhD
  • Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love
    Marty Cagan
  • Intertwingled: Information Changes Everything
    Peter Morville
  • Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights
    Steve Portigal
  • Joel on Software
    Joel Spolsky
  • Kanban
    David J. Anderson
  • Kanban from the Inside: Understand the Kanban Method,..
    Mike Burrows
  • Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster..
    Alistair Croll
  • Lean Change Management: Innovative practices for managing..
    Jason Little
  • Lean Enterprise: How High Performance Organizations Innovate..
    Jez Humble
  • Lean from the Trenches: Managing Large-Scale Projects with..
    Henrik Kniberg
  • Lean Marketing for Startups: Agile Product Development,..
    Sean Ellis
  • Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience
    Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden
  • Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning..
    Edward D Hess
  • Lessons in Agile Management: On the Road to Kanban
    David J Anderson
  • Let’s Stop Meeting Like This: Tools to Save Time and Get..
    Dick Axelrod
  • Life is Short And So Is This Book: Brief Thoughts On Making..
    Peter Atkins
  • Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small..
    Peter Sims
  • Management 3.0: Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile..
    Jurgen Appelo
  • Measuring the User Experience: Collecting, Analyzing, and..
    William Albert
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
    Carol Dweck
  • Nail It then Scale It: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Creating..
    Nathan Furr
  • No One Understands You and What to Do About It
    Heidi Halvorson
  • Once a Runner: A Novel
    Parker Jr.
  • Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life
    TonianneDeMariaBarry
  • Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting,..
    Oren Klaff
  • Poke the Box
    Seth Godin
  • Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind
    Al Ries
  • Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The..
    Dan Ariely
  • Purple People Leader
    Chester Goad
  • Quantifying the User Experience: Practical Statistics for..
    Jeff Sauro
  • Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations..
    Frederic Laloux
  • Rework
    Jason Fried
  • Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to..
    Steve Krug
  • Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works (Lean..
    Ash Maurya
  • Scaling Up
    Verne Harnish
  • Scrumban: Essays on Kanban Systems for Lean Software..
    Corey Ladas
  • Self-Reliance
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Seven Databases in Seven Weeks: A Guide to Modern Databases..
    Eric Redmond
  • Signals and Boundaries: Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive..
    John H. Holland
  • Statistics Done Wrong: The Woefully Complete Guide
    Alex Reinhart
  • Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
    Chip Heath
  • TAPE SUCKS: Inside Data Domain, A Silicon Valley Growth..
    Frank Slootman
  • Team Geek: A Software Developer’s Guide to Working Well with..
    Brian Fitzpatrick
  • The 8 Qualities of Drama Free Teams: Do More. Stress Less
    Dennis McIntee
  • The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and..
    Seth Godin
  • The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning..
    Peter M. Senge
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When..
    Ben Horowitz
  • The Human Side of Agile — How to Help Your Team Deliver
    Gil Broza
  • The Innovator’s Hypothesis: How Cheap Experiments Are Worth..
    Michael Schrage
  • The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the..
    Stephen Denning
  • The Lean Mindset: Ask the Right Questions
    Mary Poppendieck
  • The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous..
    Eric Ries
  • The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering,..
    Frederick P. Brooks
  • The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance
    Jim Whitehurst
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and..
    Charles Duhigg
  • The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second..
    Donald G. Reinertsen
  • The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for..
    steve blank
  • The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
    Douglas Adams
  • The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design..
    Leah Buley
  • The War Of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle
    Steven Pressfield
  • Thinking in Systems: A Primer
    Meadows. Donella
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow
    Daniel Kahneman
  • Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good
    Kevin Smith
  • User Interface Inspection Methods: A User-Centered Design..
    Chauncey Wilson
  • User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development..
    Mike Cohn
  • User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the..
    Jeff Patton
  • Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and..
    Avinash Kaushik
  • Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to..
    Cesar Hidalgo
  • Why Plans Fail: Cognitive Bias, Decision Making, and Your..
    Jim Benson
  • Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter
    Cass R. Sunstein
  • Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform..
    Laszlo Bock
  • Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing..
    Herminia Ibarra
  • Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
    Peter Thiel

Thanks! Did I get anyone’s name wrong? Do the links within Medium work? Did I miss someone? Do you have other recommendations? Let me know …

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store